Brain Gym® At Work

S. Christina Boyd, Licensed Brain Gym® Consultant

PTSD

I was asked by a local psychologist to provide adjunct therapy, utilizing Brain Gym, for one of her clients. The psychologist and I worked as a team in each session. I was involved in this client's sessions over a period of two years, twice a month.

Jeanie, age 41, had been on emotional disability with PTSD symptoms for 16 years and unable to work or participate in daily life activities such as volunteering at her daughter’s elementary school, doing yard sales, answering the phone, or socializing. She had been in counseling continuously throughout these years and had been working with this particular psychologist for about a year when I joined the case. In our first session together, I explained that we would be retraining her brain to function in a more relaxed and efficient way.

The brain is wired electrically in three distinct directions (the three movement dimensions of the brain): right to left, top to bottom, and front to back. In an emotional or physical trauma any or all of these neural transfer systems may be reversed, restricted, or shut down.

The right/left electrical transfers involve the right and left hemispheres of the brain and controls the communication between the two hemispheres. An easy, fluid sharing of information between these two sides is necessary for us to organize our thoughts, work through a task efficiently, and meet daily challenges without going into overwhelm.

The top/bottom electrical transfers involve the cerebral cortex and the limbic system. When this system is in balance, we can think and feel at the same time and thus modify or self-regulate our behavior and manage our emotions. 

The front/back electrical transfers involve the receptive back and expressive front of the brain. In order for us to be fully present and responsive to our current surroundings vs. being stuck in the past, the brain stem (fight/flight/freeze response) and the frontal lobe (cognitive skills, emotional expression, problem solving, memory, language, and judgment) must be wired for easy transfer of information.

When I worked with Jeanie, I guided her through focused, in-depth neural retraining. To support this work in between sessions,  she did a sensory motor movement regimen at home for 10 minutes daily.

 After 3 sessions, Jeanie experienced the following:

      o   Less anxiety at a yard sale when interacting with people

      o   No rage attacks as she would usually have within a 4-month period

      o   A separation from her emotions rather than being totally in them

      o   Calmness as she volunteered at her daughter's elementary school

After 4 sessions, Jeanie realized that:   

      o   the intense nausea that she normally had and which usually lasted all day, was much better and was now mild and only happened once in awhile

      o   the tension in her jaw was much reduced

      o   the Charlie-horse cramps in her forearms, hands, and calf muscles, which usually happened every morning, had stopped

After the 11th session, she reported that:

      o   she “definitely feels more courageous and energized and at ease”

      o   she was more apt to answer the phone.....she was “less avoidant”

      o   she began working in an office environment twice weekly as a volunteer – something she had been unable to do in 16 years

Jeanie continued to improve over the two year period, volunteering more and more and truly enjoying it. She would return home from these workdays, invigorated, confident, and happy. 

My work with Jeanie ended when she was preparing to return to work. The psychologist was helping her through the paperwork and the emotional adjustment to a work schedule.

Seven months after my last session with Jeanie, the psychologist informed me that Jeanie was back to work on a part time basis and was working in the the area of her expertise. The psychologist also shared with me that the disability officer told her this was an unusual case. Typically, someone who had been on disability for that long a time would never return to work.